I am a Survivor. With a big ol’ capital S. Why the big S? Because being a Survivor requires the acknowledgment of something stronger than just a name or description. It’s not who I am totally, but a big portion of my heart, soul and body. - Shani Kenny 2015

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Giving into the emotions.....

……is sometimes all that’s needed. As most everyone knows, I’ve had a really messed up few weeks. Between my constant tummy issues, lack of sleep, stress and over all frustration and anger (towards all of the things mentioned before), I’ve just had a bad attitude. You know? For three days now, I’ve felt way better. Just out of the blue! Thank heavens for a reprieve. I’m more than sure that it won’t last as long as I hope it will. Thankfully, I see my doctor next week and then a specialist in two weeks. It WILL get better. I have faith in that.
But my reason for posting today, I’ve had a few days of reflection also. Through some awesome talks with my “Twin” Shannon, it’s triggered some of the memories and dreams I’ve had of my mom. BTW, I call Shannon my Twin, because we’re so much alike, it’s scary. My given name is actually Shannon. Even though I go by Shani. The scary part? Shannon’s boyfriends name is Chris! My husband’s name is Chris and so is my sons.  I love her to pieces and adore her. Our friendship hasn’t always been at it’s best, hell nobodies is perfect. But in all the years I’ve known her, I’ve grown to love her like a sister. Someone who is so selfless in so many ways it’s amazing. There moments where she has listened as I rambled on and on…she gets things that most don’t. We understand so much and she often tells me It’s a “Shannon” thing lol.

But like usual, I digress. Oh please like you didn’t realize I’m totally random and ADD and run off on other things and getting away from my point? LOL…but there I go…randomness hits!

Today is her mother’s birthday. She passed away a few years ago. She was very close to her mom, like I was to my mom. I get the feelings she’s having and the heartache. She’s had a rough year over all. I won’t post her business here, that’s private. But I’ll tell you this, she’s a TRUE Survivor. Remember what I’ve said from the get go about that word? I am a Survivor. “With a big ol’ capital S. Why the big S? Because being a Survivor requires the acknowledgment of something stronger than just a name or description. It’s not who I am totally, but a big portion of my heart, soul and body.” It rings true for her as well as so many other Survivors. It’s a role we may not have wanted, but it’s there. We’re Survivors and we’re going to make it through.

As I’ve been thinking of my Twin, it’s made me reflect on my own mom. You could say it was a “trigger”. Any Survivor or Survivor of PTSD understands what that is. It’s one thing that can set you off on to a different path of flash backs, memories or terror. PTSD is one of the hardest thing for Survivors to live with. So yes, her talks triggered that for me. Ironically, not in a bad way. In a good way. I’ve been plagued with nightmares for weeks since I’ve been dealing with this BS with my health. But Shannon’s chat with me triggered GOOD dreams.

I had a dream this last few days where we had this HUGE celebration. I’m talking concert worthy celebration. It was so weird!!!!! She was there, I was, so many of us Survivors. We got to get up and talk about our loved ones or our experiences in life. In the dream I stood on a stage with a microphone and said, “Never was my mom perfect, but she was my mom. She was everything to us. The one lesson she forgot to teach us how to live with out her. But in reality, she did. Losing her, we were forced into that lesson.” By the way, part of what I said was exactly what I said at her memorial. My mom wanted to always be celebrated, never a funeral. Hence the memorial and “party” after. But this was so weird, this dream. So raw and just… odd to me. But it made me think  A LOT about my mom. Suddenly memories started flooding back in. GOOD memories at that!! Mostly, some bad. But I’ve been able to open up with my kids as I’ve remembered stuff. Remembering is huge for me, because of the PTSD but also because of the fibromyalgia. Remembering my name some days is just hard lol. But these memories, they pushed the anger and sadness out of my head and heart some. Memories that I can look back at and smile and laugh. In this dream, we all got to celebrate our loved ones. We told stories about them to this huge crowd. I’ve always, always been open about my family and am notorious amongst my friends for my posts about my family on Facebook. Sometimes yeah, I’m an over share kind of person lol. But this dream….I really, really got to get a message out. Like I was yelling to her in heaven, telling her I get it now. I love her, and it’s really going to be ok. For me, with the way I’ve been for the last two weeks, so negative and just angry, it was a smack in the face. A smack I needed. I needed to look at things differently. For the last four days, I’ve felt so much better. I miss my mom every single day of my life. I still cry, get angry, get happy, etc. Some days or moments are worse than others. When you think you’re ok, it hits you hard. Whether or not it’s a good trigger or bad one.

It’s made me think a lot about Shannon, and her own grieving. I don’t care who you are, you will always have some type of grieving pop up when you lose someone you love and especially when you were close to them. It’s been 13 years since I lost my own mom and this year, it was super hard on me. I felt like a shell of myself, crying, getting angry, fighting for understanding and just plain sadness. I think part of it is how effed up my health is. A reminder that she went through so very  much at my age. It’s hard to reflect on the bad stuff. You know?

In that, I want to make a point of saying that it never matters how long it’s been. I know my Twin is hurting, and I wish I could magically across the country and knock on her front door and just hug her. Hug her until some of that grief settles away. Take my babies and my Chris and just harass the hell out of her. Make her laugh, smile, have a shoulder to lean on. For both her and her Chris. To have us together as a family and help her through this. It’s hard on someone who has gone through as much as she has this past year. It’s hard when all is failing and you want that person right in front of you and you can’t have them. From her stories about her mom, I understand how special she really was to my Twin. She’s one of the lucky ones you know. Having a mom who truly loved her unconditionally and was there. Not a lot of people can say that. She was/is very close to her mom, just like I was with mine. It’s not something you can turn on and off. The grief and mourning will come back. It never truly goes away. And for her, that’s part of the reason it’s hitting her so much. She’s so strong even though in this moment, she doesn’t feel like it.

My Twin – Shannon, I want to tell you this….YOU my wonderful, beautiful, amazing, crazy, hilarious,  smart, selfless friend, are just amazing. You ARE a Survivor in every sense of the word. You have the ability to just share your love for your friends and family. The walls are  there, just like with all of us. But the ones  you’ve let over that wall, you love them beyond what anyone ever expected. I know this is so hard on you right now and I would take it all away in a heartbeat if I could. I’d make it better for you, and give you peace. It pains me not to be able to do that. You and I both know, it WILL get better. But don’t beat yourself up for feeling this pain. You’re allowed you know, to just sit back and have an off day. To just let it all out and not push it down and out and fighting you. I know you my love, we’re so much alike. Right my Twin? Let yourself go…allow your emotions to flow out and even through it, you’ll find a little peace. I know for a fact your mom is so proud of you.  You’ve come so far in the many, many years I’ve known you. I’m so proud of you and the strides you’ve taken and have a better life than you did just a few years ago. You found such an amazing Chris to be there and to love and knowing he loves you just as much. How many people can say that? I think he’s so wonderful and just the best.

My friend, I love you more than I can ever put into words. You know I’m serious when I tell you that I love you, and in so many ways, you ARE my sister. I always wanted a sister you know. Brothers just aren’t the same! ;) you are so strong, you are a Survivor. Rejoice in her love, and the love you have for those close to you. You deserve all the happiness in the world.

In closing, to all of you…no matter what you’re going through, you’re not alone. Reach out, put your hand out there and tell someone you trust and love that you just need a hug, a moment to talk,  whatever it is. Share what you’re feeling, and it WILL bring you some peace. I can guarantee you will. Celebrate the love you have for your loved ones who are gone. Celebrate the memories of good and the love shared. No matter how long it’s been, you’re still going to grieve. Allow yourself to do that. If you don’t, you hurt yourself and those who love you. Do it for your loved one. Allow every emotion to come through that connection then rejoice and celebrate.  Sometimes I think, “What would my mom do?” and I reflect on that. Do as she always told me, celebrate her life.

Celebrate and rejoice my friends in all the love you have and the ones gone. Because no matter what happens, you deserve to pull out and bring out all the emotions you’re feeling. Grieving pops up out of nowhere. Embrace it, and find some peace.

I’m so thankful for all of my family, friends and supporters. I hope that through my ramblings and craziness, this brings a smile to someone’s face. A moment of peace.

With all my love, hugs and maybe a cookie…..

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

There will be no miracles.....

..... this Christmas Virgina. I know that's some off way of quoting a movie, but I don't care. Never could say I explain things right! LOL For the first time in 15 years, my kids won't get Christmas like they should. YES, they've received wonderful gifts from friends already. YES, they'll get stuff from my in laws and Great Grandma. But in the process from the in laws, there will be stipulations and put downs. It's done in such a way that for a long time the kids didn't realize it. Now they're older, they know. They know that now since my husbands sister and family are back at there house (from back east, Army) they won't see them as much. I'm ok with it, but it hurts them in the long run. It really does. It makes me so angry and hurt. I can't help it. I can't help that I can't get used to it. I can't be ok with it, you know?

I missed the sign ups for the Christmas program for low income families. I had strep for two damned weeks along with this stomach BS. It totally went out of my head along with everything else. I'm mad at myself, and it hurts me for them. Mae would have been the only one who got anything probably because of her age. But still, it sucks to sit here and know for the first time in their lives, I've got nothing to give them. With Chris work hours going from one extreme to another, we're playing catch up on bills as fast as we can. That leaves nothing left over. Of course, my crazy husband hoards his reward points he wins or gets from doing reviews from the store he works at and uses that to get things as he can when he has enough. But it's not the same.

They may not believe in Santa anymore, but they still love Christmas. yes, it really is about being together, doing fun things as a family, being silly and happy. Those are the best presents we can have. But for me, a kid that suffered through so much bullshit as a kid, it's difficult to choke down. I stopped believing in Santa by the time I was 5. Why? Because I was smart enough to know that no matter how good I had been, Santa didn't come to my house like he did to my friends;. I knew that Mike's (Mom's long term BF at the time) family bought for us, and treated us ok. But it wasn't the same. We were never with my own family during the holidays. Well let me re-phrase that...I can count on one hand how many times in 16 years we were around family during that time. I'd say just about 3. Even then, they all chose to walk away from us. Am I bitter? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't. There is that part of me that still hurts for the 5 year old who stopped believing in just about everything that kids should believe in. Jaded at 5. How sad is that?

So you see, it hurts. I can't give them things like other parents do. They never complain about it, they never want shit all their friends have, and they are always happy with what they get, no matter what. But it doesn't stop us from feeling the pain. The pain that makes you feel like a failure in every possible way. This year has been so fracking hard on all of us. The last three months have been the worst I think. I find myself not posting to FB with silly stories of my family. I'm retreating back with in myself like I used to and closing off the ones who care about us most. It's easier that way. you find out that it hurts less and the more you keep it away from everyone, the less they have to endure and bitch about. I want to give my kids the world. How many parents do? A lot of us, and some not so much. 

Have I mentioned how I don't really like to take charity? Yup... I really do. I grew up in a household where you didn't take charity. If you did, you were a failure, an incompetent asshole and disgusting. I lived in a nice house, good neighborhood, yeah, but lived worse than we do now. SMH...I'm getting away from my points here. It kills my gut to have to suck it up and get help. It burns a hole in my soul..... all because of those few times during my childhood that I did accept the help. All because of one asshole who thought it was ok to bring on the pain whenever he could. I can't blame him totally though, for a lot of reasons. I've yet to learn to forgive him and what happened. I honestly don't know if I ever will be. It's what fuels my anger at moments like this. It's the honest truth.

I hate that we have to wait until tax time to make it up to them. To buy the things we want for them to have, new clothes, new goodies, etc. It hurts as a reminder of how effed up things were. Usually, I'm pretty ok during the holidays about everything. I really am....but this year...man...everything has me doing the bah hum bug quote. It just REALLY hurts. I'm not used to feeling like I failed my family so much, you know? 

No, I didn't post this for sympathy, for charity, for hand outs, for criticism or anything out. I'm posting because I'm trying to do what my mom always taught me. Writing it out, and getting it off my chest. I used to write a lot as a kid and teenager. I still do and figure here's a way where maybe, my stories might help anyone at all. Even if it's the bad shit. Maybe a time to later on look back and revisit how I was feeling. A reminder that it will get better. Right now, I just don't have the patience for it.

Sometimes, being a parent hurts a lot more than it should. Even though my kids are awesome about all of this and rarely pout about it...yup..rarely....it still hurts. I haven't broken that cycle it feels like. I've let them down and I don't know how to make it up to anybody in my family. I really don't. I can't work outside the home. The at home jobs, pfffttt. You realize how long it's been since I've done customer service work? Nearly ten years! I used to love it, and I don't mind it so much now. But I can't do it. My health is all tuckered up and I'm sitting here in the quiet, crying to myself as I type and having a pity part for one. It won't last long, I'll suck it up and distract myself. But for this one moment, I need to just get it all out. My heart aches for them and so much more. Knowing that my world is crumbling around me scares me worse than my health. It's hard to shut everything off and push forward some days. It really does.

I know in my heart of hearts, I'm not failing them as much as I think I am. But I could be doing so much better. I'll get there. I will....it's just a matter of which path to take.I have no real desire to do scrapping stuff and running huge sales, or getting organized to help bring some money in. I've totally slacked off and let so many people down. 

So yup..pity party for one up in here! I'm shutting the pity party and train down at noon, so I better get it on out while I can. 

In closing, I'm hurting. But I know it will get better. I just wish that I had done more or been able to do more for them this year. They're my whole life and my reason for breathing every day. I want to give them the world and more....and I can't. I really don't care for Christmas this year. But I'm keeping that away from my babies. Next year, maybe, just maybe, I'll have things put back together and have some plan to do better by them.

Even if I am all like Scrooge and Bah Hum Bug, I WILL be thankful and I AM for my family and friends. I'll rejoice in their love no matter what. My hope is that we'll all find peace this year and make it better. I know for sure that come tax time, we'll be able to spoil the hell out of them and then some. Just sucks it's AFTER the holiday. BLAH.... damned government! LOL jk....

Many happy wishes, thanks for reading my story, and may you all continue to be blessed.